What to Know When Building a New Home


Building a new home can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. However, for a contractor, it’s a routine task hence why you need to be active with regard to all aspects of your home’s construction to ensure you end up with what you envisioned. When building a new home, you can’t afford to be passive because there are many decisions you need to make on your own. If you can’t or are unwilling to make decisions, your architect, contractor or designer will make them for you running the risk that your home won’t turn out as you planned or stay within the budget. In this review, we’ll look at what to know when building a new home.

Understand What You Are Getting into

The first thing regarding what to know when building a new home is understanding what you’re getting into. For instance, if you want to build a custom house, hire custom home builders as opposed to general contractors. Also, know that building is time-consuming. In the early stages, particularly during design, things tend to move slowly, but once the house is framed, construction will start moving quickly. If you’re in a situation where you’re already burdened by your family and work responsibilities, perhaps it’s not the right time to build. You need to spend time at the construction site to ensure things are done as per your recommendations.

Know Your Numbers

The second thing regarding what to know when building a new home is numbers, to determine whether you can afford to build what you want. Most home plans include the estimated cost to build to help you have a rough idea of what it will cost to build, albeit the actual cost depends on the location of your build. The estimate includes building costs, down payments, tax benefits, slush (reserve) account, and other expenses related to building.

Once you know your numbers, you can buy the home plan and book an appointment with your bank to arrange financing. Keep in mind that borrowing for a new construction is different from mortgage financing because the latter involves an existing property. If you have a good credit rating, you should be able to get the funding to make down payments.

You Need an Architect

The third thing regarding what to know when building a new home is you need an architect. This is perhaps the most crucial person in a construction project if you’re not thinking about modular homes. Do your research to find yourself a good architect; once you do, you need to discuss the project with them so they can draw your floor plans and give you estimations to work with. An architect can recommend the best house painting companies, plumbers, electricians, and other professionals. Architects are project managers and will look at your site and work with your contractor to agree on various things such as finishes, fixtures, etc.

With so much on your plate, it can be challenging to find time to find the right architect for your construction project; what should you consider when hiring an architect?

Services You Need

If you think about it, you want an architect who can handle everything from drawing floor plans, fixtures, fittings, furniture, getting permits, interior design, landscaping, etc.


Most architects can design residential homes, but they specialize in different areas because the industry is very big. Since this is your pet project, you want to work with someone with adequate experience designing residential homes. And although you might hire a realtor to sell your house down the line, your home should be everything you envisioned.

Work Portfolio

Most of the time, you know the style you want to be implemented in your home, whether contemporary, traditional, or a mix of both. Check the architect’s work portfolio to see if they’ve worked on similar projects before. Check whether previous clients are satisfied with their work and confirm their ratings and reviews are genuine.

Hire The Right Construction Service

The fourth thing regarding what to know when building a new home is hiring the right construction service. This is perhaps one of the most crucial things to do because you need to work closely with your contractor throughout the entire project; whether or not you have a good building experience is up to your contractor. Before settling on a contractor, do your due diligence, ask for referrals, and schedule meetings with several contractors. Also, you should check the contractor’s reviews online to get an accurate view of how previous clients feel about the quality of their work. Your builder should be someone trustworthy and easy to connect with. Remember, you will be entrusting them to deliver perhaps your life’s most significant financial commitment. If possible, it’s recommended that you only hire builders who are members of the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders).

You Need to Plan A lot

The fifth thing regarding what to know when building a new home is planning. Things will flow smoothly if you have an idea of what you what in your home before construction commences. For instance, if you want residential pool construction, ensure this isn’t something that comes up when your project has already started because once things start moving, you will have so much on your plate. Remember, time is money when constructing a house, and it’s expensive to stop your project because you can’t decide the tile you want in your primary bathroom. You need to make decisions quickly because you don’t have a lot of time. Research everything and plan everything, including your appliances, cabinetry, countertops, flooring lighting, etc. When your builder asks for something, it should be there promptly. For instance, they might inform you that they need the roofing in the next week or so; ensure you make plans. Before your contractor starts building, make sure that everything is in order.

You Need Several Budgets

The sixth thing regarding what to know when building a new home is budgeting. Research what various items will cost you to see if they’re viable. Remember to factor in the cost of materials and labor, property taxes, and any down payments you might need to make. Which budgets do you need to have when building a new home?

Construction Budget

This budget usually covers building mortgage and land costs as well as any down payments you need to make. This budget will depend on the customizations you want in your home.

Finishing Budget

Once your builder is done building your home, there will be a lot of dirt and debris which cant be there when you move into your house. Also, you need to pave your driveway, build a perimeter wall, do some landscaping and probably add a deck or patio. All these things cost money hence why you should have a finishing budget.

Furnishing Budget

After you’re done building your home, it’s vital that you ensure that the furniture pieces you own match your new design, look, and style; otherwise, you need new ones. Furniture pieces in this context include couches, d├ęcor, dining, window treatments, etc. The costs of furniture pieces can quickly pile up hence why you need a budget for them.

Supplementary Budget

Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to start building. But before you do, you need to have a buffer budget for hidden costs. Hidden costs in this context include the cost of additional materials required, the cost of supplying supplementary power and water in case of outages, etc. Remember that you also need homeowners insurance for your new home.

Local, State, and Federal Government Building Regulations

Building regulations are the seventh thing regarding what to know when building a new home. Every locality has its own building regulations that should be followed for a new home. Building regulations, also known as building codes, include the building materials and paint you can use. In most US states, you must also meet certain measures before building commences. Generally, building codes govern the design, modifications, and maintenance of the property, whether residential or commercial. They also outline the minimum requirements a builder should meet to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of a property’s occupants.

When you know which building codes you should follow, you can avoid hefty fees that could derail the completion of your new home by wasting time and straining your budget. To confirm your builder has applied for the required approvals and followed due process when building. Although your contractor or architect might have a team that can take care of this, it’s vital that you read the fine print to prevent surprises later. Not only that, make sure you check the fine print of all contracts you’ve signed with an architect or contractor and keep an eye on the payment dates to avoid getting caught off-guard. If the terms are complicated for you, talk to a real estate lawyer to help explain everything.


The eighth thing regarding what to know when building a new home is communication. While mistakes often happen in construction projects, you can minimize the frequency by clearly stating what you want. For instance, try describing how you want a specific room to look like or even draw a sketch to help your architect or house remodeling contractor understand. Make sure you go over it again to see if they’ve understood your vision and ensure you’re on site when things are being done to catch mistakes early; this will enable you to report them on time before too much cash and time is required to correct them.

Build with Resale in Mind

Something else you should know when building a new home is that you should always build with resale in mind. Most people don’t build houses with the intention of selling; however, you shouldn’t ignore the real estate market because life is unpredictable. You might need to relocate because of family issues or work, your house should meet the market standards so that it’s easy when you decide to sell.

To do this, consult a realtor to help you understand the property market in your locality. Ask them about the resale value of the type of house you want to build, how big the front and back yards should be, how fast your property can be bought, etc.

When you have this info, you can avoid going big; instead, go for a more functional space like a modular home. This means standard kitchen, cabinetry, countertops, and flooring enough to attract buyers but not price them out. Unfortunately, this means that you might not get the home you’ve always dreamed of, but it’s essential to look to the future.

Think Green

When building a new home, you should know that going green is essential. Do your research to maximize the energy efficacy of your new house. For instance, you can ask your architect to design a home with south-facing windows so that you get as much heating and natural light in your space. You can also ask them to use energy-efficient window treatments. Not only does thinking green help the environment, but it also helps you reduce your power consumption with regard to heating and cooling.

Know When to Trust Your Gut

When building a new home, know when to trust your gut. Architects and contractors know what they are doing, but you should also know when to trust yourself. That voice inside of your head knows what you want, but it might not be as pronounced because you’re giving too much credit to the professionals; let them know what you think about various things.

In conclusion, what to know when building a new home is a broad topic, as illustrated above. However, just ensure that you go over everything thoroughly, and you’ll find that you’ll enjoy building your new home even if you experience some challenges.

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